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From: Eric6/16/2019 6:02:14 PM
1 Recommendation   of 14960
Bob Lutz: Improved Tesla Panel Gaps Are Now “World Class”

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  • June 16th, 2019 by Dr. Maximilian Holland

    Renowned Tesla bear Bob Lutz has recently sung praises of the build quality of Tesla’s vehicles, saying of a Model 3 that he inspected, “not only was the paint without any discernible flaw, but the various panels formed a body of precision that was beyond reproach.”

    This is a significant high note from Lutz, who has been singing of Tesla’s imminent downfall for years. Now a retired veteran of the auto industry, Lutz’s views on the world’s largest EV producer have been mixed, at best.

    Recall that, back in the July 2006, Tesla revealed the world’s first compelling long-range EV, the Roadster. Then, in August 2006, Elon Musk “leaked” the secret Tesla Motors master plan, announcing their intended product roadmap of increasingly affordable EVs.

    Lutz later famously credited Tesla’s Roadster and early EV plans (along with the early success of the Prius) as inspiring GM to work on the Chevrolet Volt (watch Chris Payne’s Revenge of the Electric Car for more early history). Lutz has also said of Tesla, and its pioneering work in EVs, that he will “always owe them a debt of gratitude for having kind of broken the ice.” Lutz evidently recognizes the role Tesla played early on, in creating the EV renaissance and inspiring others to work on their own EVs.

    Lutz has frequently praised Tesla’s vehicles themselves, saying of the Tesla Model S: “A Model S, especially with the performance upgrades, is one of the fastest, best handling, best braking sedans that you could buy in the world today. … The acceleration times will beat any $350,000 European exotic.”

    However, Lutz has often expressed doubts about Tesla’s business model and lack of focus on profitability. There are many examples of Lutz’s Tesla bashing, but this one gives the general flavour: “Tesla’s business model is upside down. … Their costs have always been higher than their revenue. … They always have to get more capital, then they burn through it.” We have several times covered the shade that Lutz has thrown Tesla’s way over recent years — if you want more examples, our full archives are here. Charles Morris also has an excellent article charting many of Lutz’s various statements on Tesla and Elon Musk, if you want a deep dive.

    My own take on Lutz’s misunderstanding of Tesla’s investment-for-growth-before-profit strategy is fairly simple. Lutz himself was always a career man working for existing, well-established automakers which were well beyond their early growth phase, and likely never understood the culture of an innovative startup looking to disrupt the status quo. He probably didn’t grasp Tesla’s deliberate focus on continuous investment in (extraordinarily) high growth, not quarterly profits per se. This is conscious business strategy on Tesla’s part, and one that Elon Musk re-iterated in the recent 2019 Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting.

    In fairness to Lutz, given his own career, he could scarcely hope to understand this. Since retiring from his fairly conventional management roles, Lutz has only been involved with two small startup auto businesses (VIA Motors and VLF Automotive). It seems neither got beyond showing rough concepts and have now both seemingly either failed or gone into suspended animation. In short, Lutz has never been involved with a successful startup. He is not an entrepreneur.

    Bob Lutz. Image credit: Ed Schipul/ [ CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons

    The wind has now changed once more and we find Lutz singing the praises of Tesla’s vehicles again. In a recent Road and Track article, Lutz writes, “When I spied a metallic-red Model 3 in an Ann Arbor parking lot, I felt compelled to check it out.” Lutz was expecting to see evidence of the Tesla Model 3’s “production hell” writ large, in uneven panel gaps and imperfections in the paint work.

    To his great surprise, Lutz found something completely different:

    “But, when next to the car, I was stunned. Not only was the paint without any discernible flaw, but the various panels formed a body of precision that was beyond reproach. Gaps from hood to fenders, doors to frame, and all the others appeared to be perfectly even, equal side-to-side, and completely parallel. Gaps of 3.5 to 4.5mm are considered word-class. This Model 3 measured up.”

    In case anyone is concerned that Lutz may have been abducted and replaced with an avatar, don’t sweat it:

    “So, while I continue to be critical of Tesla’s business model and Musk’s strategy, it was impossible to find fault with the visual quality of that Model 3.”

    Thanks Bob, good to know some things never change.

    Tesla Fremont Factory Tour, Part 3 — The Body Shop and General Assembly 3

    1.7K 41 Share


    Published on May 5, 2019

    CleanTechnica TV's third episode is part 2 of our Tesla Fremont factory tour coverage. It follows the production of the Model 3 through the body shop and part of General Assembly 3

    Editor’s note: As much as I’ve enjoyed laughing at Bob Lutz’s comments about Tesla over the years, I think he deserves huge props for having a fairly open mind and so publicly praising Tesla after putting so much pessimism out there about the company’s ability to succeed or to even produce some of its vehicles (Model S, Model X, Model 3). Thank + kudos to Bob for not being a tribal Tesla troll.

    My comments:

    I do always get a kick out of Lutz's comments, a production management, marketing guy.

    Still stuck in the past....


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    To: Eric who wrote (10146)6/16/2019 7:28:37 PM
    From: kidl
       of 14960
    Listening to Lutz’s comments in the past served shareholders well. He correctly predicted the mass production issues and he correctly took issue with Musk’s unrealistic time tables.

    This guy knew stuff Musk had to learn the hard way and this learning curve cost Tesla and its shareholders a lot of money.

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    To: kidl who wrote (10147)6/16/2019 8:14:36 PM
    From: MorganBucks
    1 Recommendation   of 14960
    Lutz was/ is wrong he was negative on Tesla when they went public, costing anyone that listened 1000% profits. Nothing goes straight up. All Jag electrics recalled , the brakes do not work. Tesla is years ahead of the other electric cars and the future is electric.

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    To: MorganBucks who wrote (10148)6/16/2019 10:45:41 PM
    From: FL_Guy
       of 14960
    How you calculating that "loss"?
    Lutz was/ is wrong he was negative on Tesla when they went public, costing anyone that listened 1000% profits

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    To: MorganBucks who wrote (10148)6/16/2019 11:12:31 PM
    From: kidl
    1 Recommendation   of 14960
    Lutz was/ is wrong he was negative on Tesla when they went public
    Simply not true.Back in the early days, Bob Lutz was a champion of Tesla and Musk, citing the Roadster as a major inspiration for the Volt, and saying that he would “always owe them a debt of gratitude for having kind of broken the ice.”

    Lutz turned negative on Tesla a few years after the IPO (2014?) when it became clear that Tesla would remain a cash burning monster for many years to come. Those who got in on the IPO and got out when Lutz turned negative, did well. Those who stayed in, now find themselves with essentially a zero 5 year return as the SP is pretty well where it was in 2014.

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    From: nigel bates6/17/2019 6:24:38 AM
       of 14960

    The Chinese real estate group Evergrande Group is investing the equivalent of around 23 billion US dollars in the construction of three plants for electric vehicles and their components in Guangzhou.

    The plan is to build one production facility for no less than one million electric cars per year and two additional plants for the production of batteries with a total capacity of 50 GWh per year, (The Global Times reports this as being 500 GWh per year, which is clearely a typo and is refuted by Evergrande’s own press release.) In addition, electric motors and electronic control systems are to be manufactured in-house in one of the factories.

    The Hong-Kong based real estate giant Evergrande Group has ambitious plans in the electric car business and has quickly been acquiring the necessary know-how – from the battery cell to vehicle production. After investing in Faraday Future, which was a rocky entry into the electric vehicle business, the two companies settled on Evergrande holding 31 per cent of the US startup’s shares. Shortly afterwards, Evergrande moved decisively along the electric vehicle product chain. In January this year, Evergrande Health became the new main owner of NEVS – Saab’s all-electric successor – as well as acquiring 20 per cent of the shares of similarly Swedish sports car manufacturer Koenigsegg. In March this year, Company boss Hui Ka Yan announced that “Evergrande aims to become the largest and strongest electric vehicle group in the world within three to five years.”

    In early June, Evergrande’s new daughter NEVS also acquired Protean Electric, a British specialist for wheel hub motors, which are to be used in the electric vehicles of both NEVS and Evergrande. In addition, the Group has taken over the Chinese-Japanese joint venture Shanghai Cenat New Energy Co to develop battery cells.

    Evergrande is a cash-heavy enterprise ready to make opportunities by means of massive investments and integrating technologies along the industrial chain....

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    From: nigel bates6/17/2019 6:34:21 AM
       of 14960
    CATL Expected To Increase Production Capacity To 137 GWh In 2022

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    To: Sr K who wrote (10134)6/17/2019 7:38:06 AM
    From: A.J. Mullen
    1 Recommendation   of 14960
    Promise; a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. We have had lots of circumlocutions to explain failed predictions such as aspirational targets. i was impressed by your chutzpah to ask such a question.

    Kidl has answered your question fully. For me the greatest unfulfilled promise. or lie, was funding secured.


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    From: Eric6/17/2019 7:46:57 AM
    1 Recommendation   of 14960
    Investor's Corner

    Tesla’s owner-volunteers from China mobilize to help end-of-Q2 deliveries

    Tesla Model 3 being delivered in Nanjing, China. (Photo: Vincent Yu/Twitter)

    By Simon Alvarez
    Posted on June 17, 2019

    Tesla’s second-quarter deliveries in China are getting a rather unexpected boost, thanks to a number of electric car owners who are volunteering their time to help the company hand over as many vehicles as possible before the end of the month. Tesla is currently attempting to set new delivery records this Q2, and it would take every one of its delivery teams across the globe to dig deep to achieve its goal of beating Q4 2018’s numbers. The fourth quarter, after all, was a time when Tesla delivered more than 90,000 vehicles globally.

    Reports from local Model 3 owners in China indicate that several owners have already become more involved in Tesla’s end-of-quarter delivery blitz. Similar to their counterparts in the United States, the Beijing-based Model 3 owners are helping new buyers get familiarized with their new vehicles. Some electric car owners have been doing this in actual delivery centers, while others are doing their part by providing useful information online. One Model 3 owner, who took delivery of his vehicle back in March, has even remarked that the cars coming to China today exhibit improved build quality.........

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    From: Eric6/17/2019 8:08:56 AM
    1 Recommendation   of 14960
    When It Comes To Vehicle Design, Tesla & Others Are Planning ACES

    Jun 17, 2019 at 7:40am


    Massive changes are coming much sooner than many are willing to admit.

    The automobile has always been a very dynamic product. Since cars came into widespread use in the early 20the century, almost everything about them has been constantly (albeit slowly) changing. Over the decades, vehicles have become more reliable, more powerful and more efficient, and a continuous stream of new features has made them more comfortable (AC, adjustable seats), more convenient (keyless entry, cruise control, GPS) and safer (from seat belts to airbags to collision-avoidance systems).

    Check Out These Articles:

    Bloomberg New Energy Finance Predicts A Bright Future For EVs

    Jay Leno Interview: "I Have A Tesla Model S, That's The Future"

    • This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

    Above: Tesla's Model 3 (Instagram: pichutesla)

    Meanwhile, the appearance of our cars has gone through many phases, driven less by technical requirements than by shifting fashions. Most of us can guess which decade a movie was set in by looking at the cars, from the big boxy tourers of the 1920s to the rounded contours of the 1940s to the tail fins of the 1950s to the sleek sedans of the 1980s to today’s SUVs (which arguably are beginning to look a lot like those boxy tourers).

    Much more change is coming, and it’s going to unfold much more quickly than ever before, thanks to a quartet of technological trends that some are now referring to as ACES (autonomous, connected, electric, shared). Tesla has been at the forefront of the first three of these developments, and intends to be a major player in the fourth as well.

    In a recent article in The Conversation, entitled “ Cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the past century,” Dan Lewis, Claude C. Chibelushi and Debi Roberts take a look at some of the innovations that are coming down the road.

    Above: Tesla's forthcoming Roadster is currently designed without side mirrors (Instagram: tesla_motorz)

    Some changes will be cosmetic. The air intakes and grills that have long defined some brands’ signature looks will disappear, as electric powertrains don’t need them (Teslas never had them). Side rearview mirrors (wing mirrors across the pond) are also slated for extinction, thanks to improved camera technology and the need for better aerodynamics. (Tesla wanted to eliminate side mirrors on the Model X, but regulators wouldn’t allow it. Some European versions of the new Audi e-tron are spiegellos.)

    Other changes will be much more fundamental - the advent of autonomy and new ownership models will gradually change the basic concept of what an automobile is. The Conversation predicts that, once humans don’t need to drive, windows could be adjustable in size - larger for better views (a la Tesla’s glass roofs), non-existent for naps. Cars could even have flexible layouts, able to be configured as a mobile office, a bedroom or a cargo carrier. Volvo’s 360c concept car presents one vision of this future.

    The way we control our cars is evolving quickly, and the end result could be that they become like extensions of our human bodies. Augmented-reality systems will provide more and more information about a vehicle’s surroundings, and voice commands could someday develop into direct brain-to-computer interfaces, allowing occupants to control vehicles with pure thought. Cars will also communicate with various smart city features, from traffic signals to charging facilities to multimodal public transport.

    The Car of the Future? [Volvo 360c] | The Tech Chap

    805 21 Share

    The Tech Chap
    Published on Sep 15, 2018

    Volvo unveiled the 360c Concept Car at their HQ in Gothenburg, Sweden. The fully autonomous car is designed to revolutionise your commute, and could replace planes and trains with the luxury and convenience of a car. With the aim of launching in 5-10 years, just how practical is this car of the future?

    Above: Volvo's 360c concept car could tease a few features we might see in future cars (Youtube: The Tech Chap)

    Alongside the technological trends of ACES, business and political shifts are changing the makeup of the auto industry. Tomorrow’s configurable, self-driving electric cars may very well be designed in China or Germany, not Michigan (that is, unless the legacy US automakers start raising their games very soon). The Conversation speculates that tomorrow’s drivers (riders?) might not be riding in a Ford, a Chevy or a Beemer, but in a Tesla, a Dyson, an Apple iCar or a Google.


    Written by: Charles Morris; Source: The Conversation

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